The 2012 Comics & Medicine conference was another absolute winner. Shelley Wall did an amazing job on-site in Toronto organizing this event and we, the off-site members of the organizing committee, are eternally grateful for her hard work, attention to detail, and dedication. Here is the full conference organizing committee the morning after the conference.
(L to R) Michael Green of Penn State Medical School, Shelley Wall of the University of Toronto, Brian Fies of Mom’s Cancer, Ian Williams of Graphic Medicine, Susan Squire of Penn State and me, Comic Nurse.
It was such a pleasure to reunite with Comics & Medicine friends from around the globe. Some had attended the 2010 and 2011 conferences. We also brought many new folks into the fold. The momentum these conferences are gathering is breathtaking.
The opening night event was a screening of Charissa King O’Brien’s film, The Paper Mirror: Drawing Alison Bechdel. The film was wonderfully well received and we were fortunate enough to have artist Riva Lehrer, featured in the film, on hand for a Q&A with me! Riva was her usual self: articulate, charming, funny, and inspiring.
The first day of the conference was Monday and it opened with a keynote address by Harvey Pekar’s widow Joyce Brabner (Our Cancer Year, American Splendor). Joyce encouraged attention to the ethical consequences of storytelling. You can read more about her work in this wonderful guest blog post by Mita Mahato.
The workshop’s opening exercise involved creating a self-portrait in crayons. Joyce Farmer, our other keynote speaker whom I will discuss later, gifted me with her self portrait after the workshop. What a thrill! I love the bold, confident lines of her drawing.